We all know the importance of diagnostic labs for proper treatment. Without accurate and reliable lab results, patients will not receive appropriate or effective treatment. How do we know which labs are providing accurate reports?

As per International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation, many countries rely on a process called Laboratory Accreditation as a means of determining a lab’s technical competence. To gain accreditation, specialist technical assessors conduct a thorough evaluation of a laboratory to ensure they meet international standard criteria. 

World Accreditation Day is observed globally on June 9 but only a few people know about this day or what accreditation really means. This year’s theme focuses on the use of accreditation in supporting the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Accreditation can help countries address health and safety concerns in addition to improving the overall quality of output in an economy. 

The criteria for accreditation are based on the internationally accepted standards, ISO 15189 for medical laboratories, which are used for evaluating laboratories throughout the world. Accreditation bodies use this standard to assess factors relevant to a laboratory’s ability to produce precise, accurate tests and calibration data. These factors include the technical competence of staff, validity, and appropriateness of test methods, traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards, testing environment, and quality assurance of tests.

Therefore, having an accredited lab that gives accurate and reliable results increases the confidence of patients and doctors to trust the lab and its testing. There are many accreditation bodies in the world like CAP (USA), ILAC (International), NABL (India), and BAB (Bangladesh). However, in Bangladesh, only two labs have international accreditation. We need to build more up-to-date and modern labs in our country that comply with standard protocols.

When COVID-19 first hit Bangladesh, there were no high-quality labs for PCR testing in the private sector. But following the rules and guidelines provided by the government, 77 RT-PCR labs have been set up in the private sector in Bangladesh to accommodate more COVID-19 testing. At Praava, we are proud to have quickly developed the capacity to test for COVID-19 to support our communities’ health and safety. We have started the process for CAP accreditation and ISO 15189 to further demonstrate our high-quality laboratory testing practices 

Bangladesh’s response to COVID-19 proves that it is possible to build trustworthy lab facilities in this country if the government sets specific policies for all diagnostic centers and monitors them.

This year, let us understand the importance of accreditation and why it should matter to you and our healthcare workers.

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